About this artwork

This shows Columba landing in Kintyre, not Iona. It was painted in a rocky bay, The Gauldrons, a little to the west of Machrihanish, and the figures and boats were added in the studio after the landscape was completed. McTaggart seems to have aimed to show the radiant light of early morning, in sympathy with the concept of Columba as the forerunner and bringer of Celtic civilization and artistic culture to Scotland at the start of the Christian era in Britain.

see media
  • title: The Coming of Saint Columba
  • accession number: NG 1071
  • artist: William McTaggartScottish (1835 - 1910)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: Dated 1895
  • measurements: 131.00 x 206.00 cm (framed: 177.80 x 254.00 x 14.80 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased 1911
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

William McTaggart

William McTaggart

McTaggart's land and seascapes reflect his fascination with nature and man's relationship with it. His bold colours and vigorous brushwork find parallels in Impressionist painting, although essentially form part of a distinct Scottish tradition. They also echo qualities in paintings by Constable and Turner, whom he admired. McTaggart was born on the Mull of Kintyre and returned there frequently from his studio in Glasgow and later from his home in Broomieknow, just outside Edinburgh. He trained in Edinburgh at the Trustees' Academy and enjoyed early success when elected as an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy aged twenty-four.